Strength overseas, membership sales fuel Costco's 4Q

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco Wholesale Corp.'s net income is up 16% in the fiscal fourth quarter, thanks in large part to increased revenue from selling memberships and strength overseas, according to The Associated Press.

Costco, which is the nation's biggest warehouse club operator, has seen the number of customers in its clubs grow as shoppers hunt for deals in the weak economy. It announced Oct. 6 it earned $432 million, or 97 cents per share, for the period ended Aug. 29. That's up from $374 million, or 85 cents per share, a year ago. This beat analysts' estimates of 95 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

Revenue increased 8% to $24.13 billion, helped by more money from membership fees. That missed Wall Street's projected $24.23 billion.

Revenue from sales at clubs open at least a year climbed 6%. Excluding the effects of higher gas prices and changes in currency exchange rates, the figure rose 4%. The figure is a key measurement of a retailer's health because it measures results at existing stores rather than newly opened ones.

For the year, net income increased 19% to $1.3 billion, or $2.92 per share, compared with $1.09 billion, or $2.47 per share, a year earlier. Annual revenue rose 9.1% to $77.95 billion.

Revenue from sales at clubs open at least a year increased 7% for fiscal 2010. Removing higher gas prices and changes in currency exchange rates, the metric rose 4%.
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